Senate Passes War Powers Resolution

The U.S. Senate last week passed Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine’s bipartisan war powers resolution to prevent further escalation of hostilities with Iran without congressional authorization by a vote of 55-45. Virginia Sen. Mark Warner also voted for the measure.

“With passage of this resolution, we sent a powerful message that we don’t support starting a war with Iran unless Congress votes that military action is necessary,” said Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees.

“If we’re to order our young men and women in uniform to risk their lives and health in war, it should be on the basis of careful deliberation,” he continued. “After years of Congress avoiding its constitutional duty on matters of war, I’m grateful that a bipartisan majority of senators affirmed that the president cannot send our troops into conflict without authorization.”

Warner, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said, “There is no question that Iran continues to pose a threat to the United States and to global security through its backing of terrorist and armed groups, its support for brutal dictators such as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and its repeated attempts to target of the United States and our closest allies in domains including cyber, sea and air.

“These dangers are real, but I have had serious concerns about whether the administration’s unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA and its adoption of a so-called ‘maximum pressure’ strategy have made the American people safer – or whether it has instead brought us dangerously close to the brink of war.

“This resolution does not constrain the U.S. government from acting in self-defense against Iranian provocation. It does, however, ensure that Congress has a say before the President goes to war – a constitutional responsibility dictated by our founders in Article I ... Frankly, this process is essential when the stakes are so high, when we are talking about escalating a conflict with serious, long-term consequences and potentially putting American men and women in harm’s way.”

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